How to affordably heat your home during the deep freeze

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – During the winter months, cranking up the heat can hike up your energy bill.

But, according to Consumers Energy Spokesperson Brian Wheeler, there’s a solution.

“The basic idea is to not make your home work harder than it has to,” Wheeler said. “So we often tell people to start with the thermostat.”

Wheeler says an easy way to save money is by changing your thermostat settings. He says 68 degrees is optimal during the winter, but if you’re gone for 5 hours or less you can go down to 65.

If you’re like many people, and leave from 9 to 5 each weekday for work, Wheeler says you can go even lower on the thermostat.

“Set your thermostat down to 58 degrees and see how that works, that will have an impact on your bill,” Wheeler said.

He also named a few other things you can do to lower your heating bill.

You can close your blinds at night to keep the cold out, but keep them open during the day to let the sun in.

Also, make sure all doors to the outside and your basement are closed.

Wheeler says you’ll also want to make sure you have someone check your furnace to make sure it’s working correctly, and change the filter regularly.

“The price of natural gas, the cost of heating your home really is not too much. But of course its the time of year where we’re all using that system to the max, so use your system smartly, be careful, be safe, and really you should get through the winter okay,” Wheeler said.

If you do all these things, and are still having trouble footing the heating bill, you can call 2-1-1.

It’s a free statewide service that connects you with non-profits in your community that are there to help.